Small Towns, Rural Values: A Place for Articles (and Photos) with Nostalgic Appeal

By Roberta Beach Jacobson, for The Write Way to Travel

Years ago, Capper’s was the first print publication that paid me extra when they put my article, which had appeared in their print issue, on their website, too. Back then, I didn’t realize anybody did that. Now I see they mention this little bonus in their guidelines for writers.

The travel pieces that run in the biweekly Capper’s magazine focus primarily on U.S. travel. These articles can run up to 700 words. Their readers expect heartwarming or humorous tales. Don’t be afraid to include historical background details, as nostalgia is central to the Capper’s philosophy.

This women’s publication has been around for some 120 years and it used to focus solely on issues relating to running a farm or rural household — with plenty of cooking tips, recipes, quilting articles, and cute anecdotes. It stuck to its mid-western Kansas roots.

But the “modern” Capper’s has subscribers in all 50 states and therefore has a broader appeal. None the less, Capper’s still maintains its traditional-values focus.

You may be able to sell to Capper’s U.S. travel articles that wouldn’t work in other, all-travel magazines. For example, they’ve published a piece about how certain small towns got their names.

If I were searching for some travel ideas for Capper’s, I’d write about local museums or maybe county fairs. Or how about family travel? If you send seasonal or holiday material, submit it at least three months ahead of time.

The editors purchase 75 manuscripts per year, though not all of these are specifically travel-related. They pay $2.50 per column inch, paid on publication (POP).

You don’t query first. And they won’t take travel articles by e-mail.

You can mail your completed manuscript to: Capper’s, c/o Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265

They use a lot of photos on their pages, both color and black-and-white. You can submit 35 mm color slides or color prints in batches of not more than 40. Payment is $10 to $30 per inside photo, $40 if they choose your photo for the front cover. For black-and-white, payment is $5 to $15 per photo, depending on size.

No matter how you format your photos, don’t forget to include captions!

You can read the full guidelines at: http://www.cappers.com/contributors-guidelines

My insider’s tip for getting published here is this: The publication’s managing editor, Dennis McLaughlin, admits loving words and worries our digital culture is damaging the English language. As a result, he’s very careful about the articles he publishes. That means you should be extra-careful about what you send him. Choose your words carefully and make each one count. Let your article sit for a day or so before you send it and then go back and edit, carefully, sentence-by-sentence making sure each one is as concise as possible.

If you have a copy of The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program, you can review lessons 13 and 14 where author Jen Stevens reviews the ten keys to good writing. Apply these tips to every word you choose, every sentence you write, every paragraph you create… and you can be sure that your writing will be efficient, your ideas will be clear, and editors, like Dennis, will be eager to buy your stories.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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